Director Of TW/NO Literary Festival Receives LBGTQ Leadership Award
The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is proud to share that Paul Willis, Executive Director to both the TW/NO Literary Festival and Saints + Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival, has received the Publishing Triangle's special Leadership Award. Created in 2002, this award recognizes contributions to LGBTQ literature by those who are not primarily writers, such as editors, agents, librarians, and institutions.Paul Willis established the Saints + Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival in 2003 as a new initiative designed as an innovative way to reach the community with information about HIV/AIDS, particularly disseminating prevention messages via the writers, thinkers and spokes-people of the LGBTQ community. It was also formed to bring the LGBTQ literary community together to celebrate the literary arts. Now in its 17th year, the festival has grown into an internationally recognized event that brings together a who's who of LGBTQ publishers, writers, and readers from throughout the United States and beyond. For his long-standing commitment to nurture the best in LGBTQ literature, the Publishing Triangle has bestowed this prize on Willis. Thomas Keith, an editor and Tennessee Williams scholar, presented the award, which comes with a prize of $500. Through Willis's leadership, Saints + Sinners is not simply an LGBTQ literary conference but a true community. The SAS Festival, held over 3 days each spring at the Hotel Monteleone in the New Orleans French Quarter, features panel discussions and master classes around literary topics that provide a forum for authors, editors, and publishers to talk about their work for the benefit of emerging writers and the enjoyment of fans of LGBTQ literature. The festival now includes annual creative writing contests, an annual fiction anthology, and a Hall of Fame induction ceremony. This year's inductees included Michael Cunningham, Judy Grahn, Cheryl Head, and Frank Perez.